Denial


It’s been over two weeks since we last saw David. He was leaving for school and my wife and I were preparing to fly to Maryland for the weekend. He hugged and kissed my wife goodbye and gave me wave; too big to hug and kiss his ol’ dad. My wife playfully demanded that he should give his father a hug, but he protested and I said it wasn’t necessary. I smiled and waved to him as he left.

“Have a good day. Watch for cars. And I love you.” My wife’s last words to our ten year old son.

During this time, I’ve been an emotional wreck. Laughing and crying; sometimes at the same time. Some things I’ve felt, I had expected. And some I had not. I expected the grief to come, followed by the sorrow and longing for our son. I didn’t expect to feel the warm embrace of people near and far; people we know and perfect strangers.

Another surprising feeling was that of denial. That’s one of the stages of grief and loss, so I’ve been reading. Before, I really didn’t understand the denial stage. I mean, we were home when the people from the medical examiner’s office took David away. I spoke with the LifeGift people about organ donation and we saw David at the funeral home. How could we be in denial?

This denial must be on a subconscious level, because we still speak about David in the present tense. David is…not was; not yet, at least. Also, for us, it doesn’t feel like he’s gone. He’s just not here. We still expect him to ride up on his bicycle and bound through the house. As we slowly return to our normal routine, I’m sure more of this denial will surprise us: the empty seat at the dinner table, the bicycle in the garage and our weekly ritual of Pancake Sundays with old episodes of Doctor Who.

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16 comments

  1. He’ll always be an is, not a was. That’s what a good life means. It’s the pain of loss that becomes a was, but never the one we loved.

    1. Thank you, Kevin. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Please know that you have my deepest sympathy for this incomprehensible loss.

    1. Thank you, Audrey.

  3. I have so much to say and nothing at all at the same time. My heart hurts for you and yours my friend.

    1. Thank you, James.

  4. misty Ildebrando · · Reply

    I feel the same way…have so much to say and nothing at all at the same time. I think of David and your family often and say prayers during my day for y’all. Thank you for sharing your feelings with the world.

    1. Thank you, Misty.

  5. And that’s exactly what I meant at the Celebration of David’s Life. David is because he continues. It’s just so difficult to not see him. Yet. We will. Again.

  6. Your loss is great but his spirit will always be a huge part of your family. You and your family are strong will forever keep his memory alive.

    1. Thank you, Lori.

  7. All I wish to offer (in the hope of helping ease pain, if possible), is something shared with me by a man (my friend’s father) on the 5th day of losing his one-year-old grandson – “He was only with us for a year, but it was as though we had a hundred years’ worth of love and joy. He gave us that much happiness.” This is said in grief, so do take time to go through that process. Take care, peace and love.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  8. I can’t imagine what you are going through and I hope I would be able to handle it as well as you are. You are so strong and your faith in the Lord will guide you and your family during this time. David will always be with you in your hearts and in heaven watching over all of you. Everyday I keep your family in my prayers.

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